Enduring Questions Seminar

The Enduring Questions Seminar (FYEN) serves as the first formal Connect experience.

Image: Students outside on campus

This course is all about finding your footing, developing your writing, oral and critical thinking skills and learning to approach complex issues through a multidisciplinary lens.

Faculty from all disciplines teach Enduring Questions Seminars. All courses begin with a question that has endured the test of time and to which there may or may not be a definitive answer. You might find courses such as “Is Government Necessary?” or “What is an Authentic Identity?”, “How to Fight Injustice?” or “Who Cares?” on the course schedule.

The Enduring Questions Seminar is the first of a sequence of courses designed to introduce students to a multidisciplinary approach to learning that the core Urgent Challenge Curriculum (UCC) embraces. You’ll continue practicing this approach in all of your classes, including the follow-up Urgent Questions Seminar in the spring term of your first year in which you consider a contemporary topic, such as climate change, addiction, or inequality.


You will also spend time each week with your fellow freshmen developing additional skills and experiencing all the diversity Hiram has to offer. The purpose of the Common Questions hour is to help you find your vocation (an essential component of Hiram Connect) and encourage you to explore the multiple dimensions of our curriculum. One of these days is devoted entirely to service learning and a common reading tied to the Ethics theme for the year. You’ll form a bond with your fellow freshmen as together, you begin to understand the Hiram way of learning:

  • how everyday conversations and experiences can relate back to classroom material
  • how to connect what you are learning in one class with what you are learning in another
  • how out-of-classroom and in-classroom experiences are shaping the person you hope to become
  • the college writing process and how writing skills can be applied across the curriculum


Full-time faculty members teach the seminar.

At many colleges, adjuncts and graduate assistants teach the equivalent of the First Year Seminar. We, on the other hand, have experienced, highly regarded faculty teach these classes as their disciplinary expertise enhances their commitment to the topics at hand. We all learn from each other and develop a base of knowledge to help us engage with difficult questions.

Seminar courses have 12-18 students. This means faculty deliver lots of close attention and feedback to first year students. You are never a stranger at Hiram! Your professor for your Enduring Questions Seminar also serves as your primary advisor until you choose a major advisor.

Every Enduring Questions Seminar has a student Course Assistant. These student assistants provide social counseling, helping you form your new home among the Hiram community. Course Assistants also provide valuable mentorship during your first term and help you develop your oral and written communication skills.

The Enduring Questions Seminar topics are very diverse, yet all require you to understand them from a multidisciplinary lens. This approach to learning is essential to your future success in all courses at Hiram!

The Enduring Questions Seminar has a built-in time for exploring different majors, finding your vocation, developing a curriculum vitae in an eportfolio that will represent you and your curricular and extra-curricular experiences while at Hiram. We’ll even offer you ample practice to narrate your eportfolio to future employers thus enhancing your employment potential!


The Ethics Teach-In and Campus Day are vehicles for Connect reflection and experiences required of students in the FYEN. At the Ethics Teach-In students will have the opportunity to reflect on questions of Character and Community. The reflection will be uploaded into the student’s ePortfolio.


Hiram’s Connections ePortfolio is a digital space for students to collect and showcase their learning at Hiram College. Preparing students for their career, their calling, and their life in the community beyond Hiram, the ePortfolio helps students exhibit the knowledge and transferable skills that they’ve gained. By regularly publishing their work and reflecting on their development, students will have a clearer sense of their progress and personal development – and be able to present a professional digital face to peers, prospective employers, and graduate programs.